ATHENS, Ohio (March 19, 2007) -- Two of Ohio University's own will have something extra to celebrate during this year's National Social Work Month. Earlier in March, the National Association of Social Workers' Ohio Chapter Region V honored Angie Willis and Richard Greenlee with top awards.
Ohio University Eastern Campus student Willis was named the Master of Social Work Student of the Year for NASW Ohio Chapter Region V. Greenlee, Ohio University's associate provost for Appalachian access and enrichment programs, won this year's Outstanding Service Award for the same region. The awards will be presented at a banquet in Columbus on March 23.
Willis is in the Eastern Campus cohort MSW program, which is a three-year program that allows a group of students to earn their master's degrees by completing a tailor-made curriculum together. Willis and her cohorts are scheduled to graduate in June.
Greenlee, who was Willis' instructor in her first class of the cohort MSW program in 2004, nominated the nontraditional student, who is a mother of three young children, for the award.
"Angie is a wonderful person who really deserves this recognition," Greenlee said. "She is an outstanding student who is very dedicated."
In his letter of recommendation to NASW, Greenlee applauds Willis for helping her young son battle pediatric cancer twice. He notes that her son's cancer, which is currently in remission, inspired her to promote community resources available to children who are battling cancer and serve as a volunteer at West Virginia University's Children's Hospital in Morgantown, W.Va.
Greenlee also noted that Willis volunteers in her community in the areas of disaster relief, food distribution, elementary education and church-related activities. He stated in his letter that she is an exceptional writer with a keen mind for critical thinking. Her field instructors speak highly of Willis' clinical skills in working with individuals and families.
"I have to thank a lot of people for helping me win this award," Willis said. "I especially thank my family, my field supervisors and instructors, and the many Ohio University faculty and staff who mentored me through this process. Winning this award is a complete honor because I know what type of dedication the other MSW students have and the willpower they display every day."
Willis, a resident of Barnesville, Ohio, earned a bachelor's degree in psychology from Ohio University in 1994.
Greenlee, a native of Belmont County, Ohio, was awarded for his outstanding service to NASW Ohio over many years. He is the current president of the NASW Ohio Chapter and also is a former director of NASW Ohio Chapter Region V.
Greenlee has earned many honors at Ohio University, including the Presidential Teacher Award, Dean's Outstanding Teacher Award, University Professor Award and the Student Affairs Faculty Contribution Award. He also is a past recipient of the Rita Gillick Mental Health Advocate Award for Athens, Hocking and Vinton counties.
"Dr. Greenlee always goes beyond the call of duty," said Michele Wilbur, director of NASW Ohio Chapter Region V. "He has an infectious enthusiasm that inspires everyone who comes in contact with him. His level of dedication is unique."
NASW is the largest organization of professional social workers in the world with 155,000 members. Both Greenlee and Willis are now candidates for the same NASW awards at the state level, which will be presented at the NASW Ohio Chapter Conference in November.
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